2011 San Fereolo“1593” Langhe Rosso
The name "1953" refers to the year of the first mention of Dolcetto in the historical records of Dogliani—Nicoletta separately vinifies and ages her very oldest parcel, in the “Cerri Sottani” vineyard in Valdiba, producing it only in vintages that warrant it. This 2008 spent a full ten years in Nicoletta’s cellar before being bottled: first, a two-year stint in 500-to-700-liter tonneaux; then, four years in large 10-to-15-hectoliter vertical wooden tini; then, an additional four years in steel before being bottled (without fining or filtering, of course). The dazzling nose delivers a prescription-strength hit of savory Piemontese essence, wild and profound, and expanding in all directions. The palate holds a novel’s worth of textural delight: honest, grainy tannins that corset the exuberant fruit just-so; rich, strong acidity, like a world-class contralto singing solo in a grand cathedral; spicy, vibrant smoke like a bonfire burning clean young branches; and, above all, a sense of real profundity—the story of impeccable fruit that has spent enough time evolving to tell us something truly compelling. This wine is an enologist’s nightmare, not because it’s flawed, but because its stark beauty is unattainable via any recipe. And the fact that it costs less than most current-release Barolo almost defies belief.